What are the aims of SBLC?

The Synthetic Biology Leadership Council (SBLC) will be a co-ordinating body for the UK's interests in the rapidly developing field of synthetic biology.

The SBLC will work with industry, the relevant academic disciplines (including engineering, biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, the social sciences and ICT), regulators, NGOs and Government, to strategically oversee the development of a successful synthetic biology industry sector in the UK. 

In large part, this will initially be founded upon implementation of the recommendations from the Synthetic Biology Roadmap Co-ordination Group.

The Vision

A UK synthetic biology sector that is:

  • Economically vibrant, diverse and sustainable: where research institutions and businesses have successfully developed and introduced new products, processes and services – leading to significant revenues and employment;

  • Of clear public benefit: an exemplar of responsible innovation, incorporating the views of a range of stakeholders and addressing global societal and environmental challenges with an effective, appropriate and responsive regulatory framework;

  • Cutting edge: leading scientific advances and with a resilient platform of underpinning technologies – delivering clear advantages in application development in a commercially astute but open manner.

Aims of the SBLC

The main aims of the Leadership Council are to:

  • Provide a visible point for strategic co-ordination between the funding agencies, the research community, industry and other stakeholder including societal and ethical representatives;

  • Create the conditions that allow the UK to become a world leading industrial hub in Synthetic Biology;

  • Influence the development of policy and regulations to anticipate the developmental requirements of this emerging technology;

  • Be open and transparent, with one ‘open'[1]  meeting held each year and all agendas and records of decisions taken to be made public.

[1] An open meeting will allow anyone to apply to attend the meeting and have the opportunity to ask questions at the end of the meeting. Availability of spaces may be limited by the size of the venue.

Specific Activities

The range of potential synthetic biology applications and corresponding number of bodies involved in different aspects of synthetic biology mean there is a need for one body to be a visible point of coordination, which will be this Council. The Council (SBLC) will own and oversee the continual development and delivery of the Roadmap, with particular reference to:

  • Ensuring ongoing and timely stakeholder dialogue and engagement as part of the process of developing synthetic biology capability within the UK, setting an exemplar of responsible innovation;

  • Improving investor and public awareness of synthetic biology and the potential benefits it offers;

  • Informing the UK's negotiations in international discussions;

  • Taking ownership of monitoring of the UK's international competitive position and providing strategic recommendations to retain and enhance it.

  • Steering the Synthetic Biology Special Interest Group;

  • Overseeing a regular refresh of the Synthetic Biology Roadmap.

The Leadership Council will typically meet three times per year, with at least one meeting held in public. The work of the Council will be supported by sub-groups appointed by the Council. 

Secretariat of the SBLC is provided through Innovate UK by the Synthetic Biology Special Interest Group.

The Synthetic Biology Leadership Council Membership can be found in our 'Who are the SBLC? webpage.